Sep 5, 2022
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Sweden's New Wave Group buys wholesaler to boost UK business

Sep 5, 2022

Swedish “growth company” New Wave Group has acquired 100% of UK promotional, corporate and teamwear apparel company BTC Activewear for £33 million in cash.

BTC Activewear

New Wave, which “creates, acquires and develops brands and products” in Business, Sports & Leisure and Gifts & Home Furnishings, said the acquisition will strengthen its presence in the UK market.

"The introduction of New Wave Group's own brands to BTC Activewear’s portfolio will also allow for a considerable increase in both the gross and operating margin of BTC Activewear in the coming years”, it added.

BTC was founded in 2000 and has its distribution centre and head office in Birmingham. The company claims to be the UK's third largest wholesale distributor within its sector, offering around 50 leading international apparel brands. 

New Wave said its sales model “showcases the potential of e-commerce for B2B sales, as around 90% of orders are placed via the company's webstore.

Citing BTC Activewear's 2021 revenue of £53 million, New Wave said the acquisition will have a positive impact on its results this current year but will have a negative impact on the group's gross and operating margin.

“The UK is one of Europe's biggest markets for promotional products, with a clear trend towards increased focus on own-brand products”, New Wave also noted. “Together with BTC Activewear, who has a broad and well-established customer base, New Wave Group will have a strong platform for the distribution of the group's brands in the UK”, it added.

BTC Activewear CEO and co-founder Stephen Pope, who will continue as CEO, said: "I am delighted to have a strong financial owner that is known for its long-term commitment and deep industry knowledge. 

“BTC Activewear will be able to grow and take further steps together with New Wave Group, where the mix between our understanding of and position in the UK market and New Wave Group's experience and brands will be an unmatched combination."

He added: "With a more comprehensive and improved customer offer, we will be able to reach new customers and compete in new areas. Of course, this will be beneficial to the business and also allows us to grow sales of our existing portfolio of brands."

Torsten Jansson, CEO and founder of New Wave Group, added: “Through this acquisition, we establish New Wave Group as one of the main players on the UK market. In addition, we will add a very attractive and well-run company to our company group, as well as invaluable industry knowledge that will benefit all [our] companies."

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